show (one's) (true) colours

(redirected from shows 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 ?
When they're handled roughly by toddlers, they ask head bear Lotso for help, but he quickly shows his true colours.
EXPLORER Bear Grylls shows his true colours at Buckingham Palace last night - by wearing a pair of Union flag shoes.
That was a disgrace and now, as if we did not know, the dictator again shows his true colours.
David shows his true colours, even out-scheming his dad Eric Pollard.
It shows his true colours - he's left us others out in the cold.
Standing by a swastika flag, tattooed fascist Del O'Connor shows his true colours.
But when she threatens to tell everyone what he did he shows his true colours and tells her she'll regret it.