(one's) (true) stripes

(redirected from his true stripes)

(one's) (true) stripes

One's true or honest beliefs, thoughts, convictions, biases, desires, etc.; one's real personality, character, or disposition. (A less common variant of "one's (true) colors.") Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true stripes once he realized that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. You will really see your friends' true stripes when you call upon them in a time of crisis.
See also: stripe
References in periodicals archive ?
Later, of course, he revealed his true stripes and nasty streak-and the gradual revelation was definitely scarier than the original villains' all too obvious dark looks and leers.
Towards the end-of-the-book, after having lost the presidential election to Lincoln, Douglas reveals his true stripes when, as a patriot, he places The Constitution and Union over party identity, suborning his own political ambition.