sail under false colors

sail under false colors

To operate using or under the guise of false pretenses, so as to deceive someone or to hide one's true nature or intentions. (An allusion to the identifying flags of a ship.) Tim thought he could just put on fancy clothes and rub elbows with the upper crust that Janet's family socialized with, but everyone at the party knew he was sailing under false colors. I don't want to be accused of sailing under false colors, so let me say straight away that I'm being paid to give a review of this product today.
See also: color, false, sail

sail under false colors

 
1. Lit. to sail with false identification. (Pirates often sailed under the national flag of the ship they planned on attacking.) The ship, sailing under false colors, suddenly started to pursue our ship. Bluebeard the pirate was known for sailing under false colors.
2. Fig. to function deceptively. You are not who you seem to be. You are sailing under false colors. Tom was sailing under false colors and finally got found out.
See also: color, false, sail

sail under false colors

see under false colors.
See also: color, false, sail

sail under false colours

disguise your true nature or intentions.
See also: colour, false, sail