Showing colors

If you see the true colors you know you are in trouble, pic: © Steve Mann | Dreamstime.com

The complete expression is “showing one’s true colors”.  This phrase is used to express that somebody has shown or expressed his real character or opinions, to reveal oneself.

That real character/opinion generally will come as somewhat of a surprise, good or bad. Here are a couple of examples:

“We all thought that he was such a wimp but when he rescued that little girl from the burning house he showed his true colors.”

“He showed his real colors when he refused to help his friend in a time of crisis.”

The background of this expression is quite interesting:ships used to fly the flags (the colors) of their enemies to get close enough to them to attack.  Just before attacking, they would lower the flag, raise their true colors – and attack.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: