Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(show/display) true colours

show true coloursdisplay true colours
Meaning(s)
1) if you see someone's true colours, you see what they are really like
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • he/she showed his/her true colours by doing that
  • Analysis

    If you say someone is ‘showing their true colours’, it means they have finally revealed their true intentions or personality after deceiving others for a time or keeping their true feelings hidden. This idiom is especially used if the true intentions of someone are devious or dishonourable. This is an idiomatic expression. You can say that someone 'displayed their true colours' and it means the same thing,

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Kate put her poor performance in the match down to injury, and was determined to show her true colours in the next game when she would be fully fit. 
    2. She really showed her true colours today when I overheard what she said about Harry. I was shocked, she always seemed like such a nice person.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I used to think that Gary was a great guy, but when I got the promotion ahead of him he began to show his true colours. From then on he was rude and unhelpful.
    2. Our boss' true colours were revealed during the crisis. She remained calm and focused under intense pressure, and displayed true leadership skills. 
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