show (one's) (true) colors

(redirected from show their true 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 ?
Playing well with both modern and more traditional patterns, designers say the fashion standard's appeal extends to what it can do for the other shades being used in a given palette, in this case in a rug's design, as a background dark as night will help other hues show their true colors.
was papered with antigay pamphlets on June 17, residents Tom Glaser and his partner, Greg Leder, invited their neighbors to show their true colors by flying rainbow flags during pride month.
Here Nagel and Murphy begin to show their true colors.