show (one's) (true) colours

(redirected from showing their 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
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, backstabbing Tories were also showing their true colours yesterday by knifing leader Ruth Davidson.
ONCE again the Tories are showing their true colours by cutting funding and public sector pay in the north of England (The People, last week).
However the Tories are showing their true colours with the MP for Skipton's idea of reducing the minimum wage to encourage disabled people into work.
The setback was a major blow to Brakes boss Paul Holleran and his men as they gave The Lilywhites a three-goal interval advantage before showing their true colours in a gutsy fightback that almost reeled in a share of the points.
Cameron's cowboys are showing their true colours with Tory Euro-MP Daniel Hannan (above) telling Americans our NHS has been a failure.
YOUNG performers will be showing their true colours on stage this week - some of them treading the boards for the first time.
THEY may not attend many football matches but the animals on this farm are showing their true colours - near the top of Ireland's highest mountain.
wins pounds 50, the others pounds 10 WEEK t ONC T i ONCE again the Tories are showing their true colours by cutting funding and public sector pay in the north of England (The People, last week).