change (one's) stripes

(redirected from change their 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 ?
Expressing this view in an article for The National Interest, Daniel DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, says, "The Beltway foreign policy establishment needs to snap itself out of the delusion that the Pakistanis will change their stripes. It will take a lot more than an aid cut or a public scolding (by President Donald Trump) to capture the Pakistani Army's attention."
Without deeper reform, the demographic arithmetic suggests that the disenfranchised and anti-establishment share of the population may grow (unless today's young people change their stripes as they age).
In my years of sales management, I have found that people rarely change their stripes.
Tigers do not change their stripes, and neither do most candidates.
Let's hope the FA strikes a blow for the common fan by knocking back Hull City's bid to change their stripes.
And why do these tigers try to change their stripes according to where they live?
Data from the planned Cherenkov Telescope Array, a ground-based gamma-ray observatory, and scheduled upgrades to the DESY ALPS particle-physics experiment in Germany, could reveal if photons do change their stripes.
We are quite optimistic that people will change their stripes."
25 -- Yesterday's attempt by the LTTE to kill EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda using a woman suicide cadre stands to prove that Tigers never change their stripes, leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front, V.
But the socialists began to change their stripes in the late 1970s, rallying around the concept of nuclear dissuasion as a guarantee of national independence and beginning to distance themselves from America.
While he scores some points in this appraisal, it does not appear that Kyle wants evangelicals to return to their biblical roots; instead, he wants them to change their stripes.
Tigers don't often change their stripes. So, Tom, stick to screwing the sad and lonely rich old men and not the people of district 108.
What Howard carefully chooses to ignore, however, is that the Tigers never change their stripes and Leicester players invariably infringe when they get around their own 22 rather than concede tries to their opponents.
Fishy stocks may change their stripes, but still have that same characteristic smell.
But this has proven to be as phony as the very same deceptions used by Communists like Nasser in Egypt, Sukarno in Indonesia, Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia, Romulo Betancourt in Venezuela, and dozens of other Reds who at various times found it expedient to temporarily change their stripes.