show (one's) (true) colors

(redirected from showed his 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 ?
I think he showed his true colors in not keeping his cool under duress, and as mayor of this city, he should be the one to have broad shoulders because you get a lot of criticism from a lot of people.
But I am happy that one of the first things Bush did was stop funding for overseas health services that provide abortions, because it showed his true colors.
Lasorda is a legend and he really showed his true colors by wearing these patriotic silicone wristbands and encouraging others to do likewise.
Jack Nicholson, who you'd think can handle the truth by now, showed his true colors Sunday by showing up at the Dodgers-Yankees game with a gold ``NY'' cap.
Those of his ilk run from the top to the bottom, and Zacarias showed his true colors when he had his lawyers admonish the school board with the threat of a lawsuit.