Hi DeLane, the term "to show" refers to how many wraps to put on during the construction of a wire jewelry piece.
Let's say you are using a half-round wire to wrap a bundle of square wires together and the directions say "4 wraps to show." This means that on the back of the bundle, where the wrap wire begins and ends, you can see 5 wrap wires (including both ends) and on the front you will see 4 wraps: these are the wraps that "show."
It is simply my way of cutting down on wordiness in a written pattern or while giving oral directions to a live class. Thanks for asking!
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong