reveal (one's) (true) colors

(redirected from reveal their true colours)

reveal (one's) (true) colors

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, character, or disposition. Primarily heard in US. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he revealed his true colors once he realized that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really reveal their colors.
See also: color, reveal
References in periodicals archive ?
We hope now that their hopes and ambitions bear fruit, because there is a genuine risk that the disparate groups behind the Libyan rebellion could seize the opportunity to reveal their true colours and foment fresh discord in the country, as happened in Iraq after the ousting of Saddam Hussein.
The pair quickly reveal their true colours, terrorising the family in all sorts of hellish ways - in fact the utter lunacy of one of them (Michael Pitt in a terrifying turn as Paul) is the overwhelming key factor which makes the film work, his performance genuinely disturbing the viewer.
David Cameron and Nick Bourne can preach all they like about supporting public services but when they are in control - as they are in Monmouthshire - they reveal their true colours.
Vinyl-obsessed pop stars reveal their true colours as they enthuse endlessly over their music collections, tackling the unanswered question - what do rock stars listen to in their bedrooms?
They are happy to praise it like an ornamental jug on a Welsh dresser,but when the possibility of making it an essential requirement is raised, they reveal their true colours.