What does ‘show one's true stripes’ mean?
The idiom "show one's true stripes" means to reveal one's true character or nature, often when it is different from what was previously believed or assumed.
Origin of Revealing True Colors
The idiom "show one's true stripes" is often used to describe a situation in which someone reveals their true nature or character. It implies that a person's true nature cannot be hidden or changed. The phrase originated from the expression "a leopard cannot change its spots," which has been in use since at least the 13th century.
One interesting aspect of this idiom is its connection to the animal kingdom. The use of stripes in the idiom may have been influenced by the visual distinction between leopards (with spots) and tigers (with stripes), which are often used as symbols of contrasting qualities.
The versatility of this idiom allows it to be applied to a wide range of situations. For example, it can be used to describe someone who initially seems kind or trustworthy but later reveals their true, perhaps deceptive, nature. It can also be used to describe a political leader or public figure who presents themselves in a certain way but ultimately demonstrates their true beliefs or intentions.
Another related idiom is "true stripes," which emphasizes the authenticity or genuineness of someone's nature. When someone shows their true stripes, they are revealing their true self without any disguise or pretense.
A third related idiom is "show color," which carries a similar meaning to "show one's true stripes." When someone shows their color, they are revealing their true nature or character, often after initially presenting themselves differently. This idiom is commonly used in informal conversations.
The idiom "show one's true stripes" is widely known and used in various contexts. It can be found in literature, movies, and everyday conversations, demonstrating its enduring relevance. Its connection to the animal kingdom and its widespread usage across various situations highlights its richness and versatility.
The idiom "show one's true stripes" is a common phrase that originated from the expression "a leopard cannot change its spots." It is often used to describe a situation in which someone reveals their true nature or character. The idiom's connection to the animal kingdom and its widespread usage across various contexts adds to its richness and versatility. Additionally, related idioms such as "true stripes" and "show color" further emphasize the authenticity and genuineness of someone's true self.
Examples of how the idiom "show one's true stripes" can be used in a sentence:
- After working with him for awhile, it became clear that he was not the helpful person he initially portrayed himself to be. He showed his true stripes.
- The politician promised to fight for the rights of the people, but once elected, he showed his true stripes and prioritized his own interests.
- At first, the company seemed very committed to sustainability, but their environmental practices showed their true stripes and proved otherwise.