show (one's) (true) colors

(redirected from show their colors)

show (one's) (true) colors

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, temperament, or disposition. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true colors once he realized 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 colors.
See also: color, show

show one's (true) colors

Fig. to show what one is really like or what one is really thinking. Whose side are you on, John? Come on. Show your colors. It's hard to tell what Mary is thinking. She never shows her true colors.
See also: color, show

show one's colors

See also: color, show

show one's true colors

Reveal oneself as one really is, as in We always thought he was completely honest, but he showed his true colors when he tried to use a stolen credit card . This expression alludes to the antonym, false colors, that is, sailing under a flag other than one's own. [Late 1700s]
See also: color, show, true
References in periodicals archive ?
At what magnitude do naked-eye stars and planets show their colors best to you?
January is where a lot of retailers show their colors.
It has been said that political supporters show their colors in many ways.
The legal wrangling continues this week in the Jets' drive to build its home on the West Side, as politicians show their colors and citizens speak out with further judicial action.
Bruno and Assemblyman Silver, who have remained neutral up to this point, must now show their colors.