show (one's) (true) colours

(redirected from showed his true colours)

show (one's) (true) colours

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, character, or disposition. Primarily heard in UK. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true colours once he realised that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really show their colours.
See also: colour, show

show your true colours

COMMON If someone shows their true colours, they show their real character, often when this is bad. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. Someone I had trusted now showed her true colours. Note: Verbs such as declare and reveal are sometimes used instead of show. Three months into the relationship, Rogers began to reveal his true colours. Note: You can also see someone in their true colours. The children started seeing him in his true colours for the first. Note: Once a pirate ship had got close to a treasure ship by `sailing under false colours', it then revealed its true identity by raising its own flag.
See also: colour, show, true

show your (true) colours

reveal your real character or intentions, especially when these are disreputable or dishonourable.
See also: colour, show
References in periodicals archive ?
On his previous start at Newmarket he showed his true colours with an RPR of 123, but after getting trapped on the rail he ran to just 119 in a tight finish to the Irish Classic.
CONSERVATIVE MP Robert Halfon showed his true colours with his nasty sneer at "Scumbag football hooligans" when Sunderland fans were partying in London on the eve of the Capital One Cup final.
DAVID Cameron certainly showed his true colours yesterday.
BULLY boy Cameron showed his true colours in his outburst at Ed Balls and now we see the laidback image his PR team are trying to sell us is just another part of veneer of a caring Prime Minister with the nation's welfare at it heart.
Needless to say, once in Downing Street he showed his true colours.
He showed his true colours against England when he stitched Rooney up good and proper.
Sunderland footballer Ben Clark showed his true colours when he held up a 14-metre red and white scarf to mark the start of a transport initiative.
Zara Phillips' new husband Mike Tindall showed his true colours by turning up at Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel in dirty clothes.
BOB AINSWORTH MP must go, as he showed his true colours by standing back when the Gurkhas were fighting the right to stay in the UK.
He was hated by the nation when he showed his true colours on Big Brother.
Tory Prime Minister David Cameron showed his true colours after his decision to take a five per cent cut in his salary.
I didn't have this problem with the great Bobby Moore and more recently Pele but maybe the illustrious Geoff Hurst on the anniversary of D-Day showed his true colours.
This time Ilico II showed his true colours, running the Paul Nicholls-trained horse to half-a-length at level weights and jockey Jim Culloty is convinced his lack of knowledge of the horse cost them victory.
Warren arrived in Hollyoaks last week and after charming Louise to start off with, showed his true colours by savagely beating Sean.
POODLE Tim Henman certainly showed his true colours after his latest embarrassing flop at Wimbledon.