show (one's) (true) colours

(redirected from show his true colours)

show (one's) (true) colours

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with 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. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really show their colours.
See also: colour, show

show your true colours

COMMON If someone shows their true colours, they show their real character, often when this is bad. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. Someone I had trusted now showed her true colours. Note: Verbs such as declare and reveal are sometimes used instead of show. Three months into the relationship, Rogers began to reveal his true colours. Note: You can also see someone in their true colours. The children started seeing him in his true colours for the first. Note: Once a pirate ship had got close to a treasure ship by `sailing under false colours', it then revealed its true identity by raising its own flag.
See also: colour, show, true

show your (true) colours

reveal your real character or intentions, especially when these are disreputable or dishonourable.
See also: colour, show
References in periodicals archive ?
RUBY Walsh would love Hurricane Fly to show his true colours again in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.
ALAIVAN will show his true colours in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, according to Edward O'Grady.
Earl_Williams Thanks to Twist Magic we can now get a realistic each-way price on Well Chief, who is far more likely to show his true colours at Cheltenham.
Newcastle United defender Peter Ramage will show his true colours tonight ( at a special awards ceremony at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre.
Now to show his true colours he has decided it is probably not worth the risk of appearing on Question Time as he may be ambushed by outraged fans.
Michael Jarvis's improving colt, brother to top-class miler Medicean, won despite hating the firm ground at Thirsk last time and is much better than he looked there - this easier surface should enable him to show his true colours.
As Freddie (Don Gilet) begins to show his true colours, dodgy Doc David (Tristan Gemmill) remains smitten with Evelyn (Lucy Cohu) and the ghost of Jack (Tom Hardy) haunts Wintersgill.
Can Well Chief show his true colours in the Melling Chase on day two at Aintree?
Admittedly, he has yet to produce any fireworks in this event, but the ante-post favourite may be ready to show his true colours when it counts.