change (one's) stripes

(redirected from change his stripes)

change (one's) stripes

To radically or fundamentally shift one's opinion, ideology, or allegiance, especially in relation to politics. Often used in negative constructions. Derived from the phrase "a tiger cannot change its stripes," meaning that people are incapable of changing their essential nature. The former governor has changed her stripes regarding social welfare since leaving office. You're never going to convince Tom about this. A guy so set in his beliefs like Tom can't change his stripes.
See also: change, stripe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

change one's stripes

See also: change, stripe
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

change one's stripes/spots, cannot

One cannot alter one’s essential nature. The cliché refers to the tiger, who obviously cannot change its stripes. This in turn is an alteration of a much older saying, an ancient Greek proverb also found in the Bible (“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” Jeremiah 13:23). The phrase appears in numerous places until the end of the seventeenth century.
See also: cannot, change, stripe
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The tendency of businesses is to identify a sales person's weaknesses and develop a plan to improve them; in effect, asking the salesperson to change his stripes. In my years of sales management, I have found that people rarely change their stripes.
During an interview with POTUS radio, Pittenger said Iran made Hitler look like "a minor player," and the administration of US President Barack Obama was counting on the Islamic Republic to "change its stripes," when he should not, because "Hitler did not change his stripes."
Anybody who carries the common-sense gene knows that Putin doesn't change his stripes, she added.
So can Tiger change his stripes? I just hope for the sake of Elin and their two young children he manages it.
"There's nothing that we see that indicates that Mullah Omar will, in fact, change his stripes; as a result, we don't see that he qualifies to play a constructive role in Afghanistan's future," Crowley said.
Even so, Woods's reaction to that two-hole spell underlined he is going to find it very tough indeed to change his stripes.
There have not been too many players who have swapped Sunderland for Newcastle, but Bracewell was happy to change his stripes after a meeting with Keegan at Gosforth Park.
The oppressors and the oppressed are all Russians together; and the world is brought once more face to face with the truth of the saying that the tiger cannot change his stripes.'
Donlon (CE): What you're asking is can a Communist change his stripes?