show one's colors

show one's colors  {v. phr.}
1. To show what you are really like.
We thought Toby was timid, but he showed his colors when he rescued the ponies from the burning barn.
2. To make known what you think or plan to do.
Mr. Ryder is afraid that he will lose the election if he shows his colors on civil rights.
We would not help Jim until he showed his colors.
Categories: {v. phr.}