show (one's) (true) colors

(redirected from shows his colors)

show (one's) (true) colors

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, temperament, or disposition. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed 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 show their colors.
See also: color, show

show one's (true) colors

Fig. to show what one is really like or what one is really thinking. Whose side are you on, John? Come on. Show your colors. It's hard to tell what Mary is thinking. She never shows her true colors.
See also: color, show

show one's colors

See also: color, show

show one's true colors

Reveal oneself as one really is, as in We always thought he was completely honest, but he showed his true colors when he tried to use a stolen credit card . This expression alludes to the antonym, false colors, that is, sailing under a flag other than one's own. [Late 1700s]
See also: color, show, true
References in periodicals archive ?
7) Steve Petzold of Santa Clarita shows his colors at the Veterans Day ceremonies in Newhall.
Malpass, too, is an archaeologist by training and practice, and shows his colors by incorporating a summary of the remote Andean past and a section on the destruction of archaeological sites that is a primer on the historical cost of removing beautiful things from their primary contexts.
Carlos Guardado, 11, below, of Boy Scout Troop 649 of Simi Valley, shows his colors at the Rancho Tapo ceremonies.