a leopard doesn't change its spots

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a leopard doesn't change its spots

proverb One will stay true to one's nature, even if one pretends or claims otherwise. After our breakup, he came crawling back, trying to convince me that he'd changed, but I know that a leopard doesn't change its spots.
See also: change, leopard, spot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a leopard does not change its spots

or

a leopard cannot change its spots

mainly BRITISH
If you say that a leopard does not change its spots or a leopard cannot change its spots, you mean that it is not possible for someone bad or unpleasant to change and become good and pleasant. A liar is a liar, and a leopard cannot change its spots. Note: This expression is often varied. This racist leopard has in no way changed his spots. I believe a leopard can change his spots, and this guy is really committed. Note: A form of this proverb is used in the Bible, by the prophet Jeremiah, to say that wicked people never change: `Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.' (Jeremiah 13:23)
See also: change, does, leopard, not, spot
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Det Sgt Wardle said: "It's absolutely time well spent as with these types of cases we have got nothing unless we have got the victims on board, we will never get these offenders off the streets without the victims, and a leopard doesn't change its spots, these people will continue to abuse.
They say a leopard doesn't change its spots. Don't expect this arrogant, nasty women and her Government to change theirs.
Well, they do say a leopard doesn't change its spots.
As the saying goes, a leopard doesn't change its spots.
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is a false premise because a leopard doesn't change its spots," Band said.
Sean Wallace No he doesn't deserve another chance because at the end of the day a leopard doesn't change its spots and giving someone like that a second chance you might as well let all the robbers go free.
The leopard doesn't change its spots. These instigators will not stop as long as the renegade clerics and their followers continue to incite them to disrupt our lives, making it a living hell!
A leopard doesn't change its spots, and a young punk-pop princess doesn't change her ska prints either.
Of course a leopard doesn't change its spots, and the only reason she wants to stay on is so she can pick up a pounds 30,000 severance payoff.
Mike tells her he wants her to leave Keith for him, but she's worried that a leopard doesn't change its spots.
- Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams on the debate over the future of the IRA.n "A leopard doesn't change its spots. The democracy train is leaving the station without Sinn Fein."
They say a leopard doesn't change its spots. Well, chuck, you have.
As they might say in Africa, a leopard doesn't change its spots. We're sorry they're out of business, but with a gun that jammed as much as the CP-1 did, it's little wonder.
"But the leopard doesn't change its spots, so I hope Des might start looking around again.
Meanwhile, former Deputy PM John Prescott waded into the row calling the policy "insulting and ignorant", adding: "He warned: "The Tory leopard doesn't change its spots."