(one's) true colours

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(one's) true colours

One's true or honest beliefs, thoughts, convictions, biases, desires, etc.; 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. You will really see your friends' true colours when you call upon them in a time of crisis.
See also: colour, true
References in periodicals archive ?
One chance to show your true colours Show your true colours and join The Football League's Arch to Arc bike ride in support of Help The Hospices, linking two of Europe's must iconic landmarks.
Football referee Howard Webb is urging people to join the bike ride, saying: 'Whichever club you support, or even if you just want to get fit, the Arch to Arc bike ride is a chance for you to show your true colours and unite around a common goal: supporting hospice care so more people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses can make every moment count.