show (one's) (true) colours

(redirected from showing their 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 ?
Korukcu, far left, Ash, is a Red all HERE are the first two fantastic pics of kids showing their colours ahead of the Mersey-pride Wembley FA Cup showdown on April 14.
LEFT TO DIE Daffodils and a carnation, nearly dead, Until I, water, to them fed, They were left then lying around, Until I came upon them, on the ground, Where they came from I do not know, In another place, they at one time, to grow, Taking them home, in a small vase to place, They now, in their brilliant manner, I face, Alive they have come, like unto the Phoenix of old, Showing their colours, for a while, all bold, The time I will have them, only to be short, But the essence in their make up I have caught, So to those that leave much beauty behind, Mine was the pleasure in this of my find.