lay it on with a trowel

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lay it on with a trowel

To exaggerate, aggrandize, or overstate some emotional experience, response, or appeal, such as blame, praise, flattery, excuses, etc. Jim carries on as though flattering the boss will get him a promotion, so he's always laying it on with a trowel for her. OK, Bob, I think Mary understands the trouble she's in, no need to lay it on with a trowel.
See also: lay, on, trowel

lay it on with a trowel

BRITISH
If you lay it on with a trowel, you try to make something seem more important than it really is, especially in order to get the reaction you want. You have to make up your mind about whether Carmen's telling the truth or laying it on with a trowel. Note: You can also say that someone lays on a particular thing with a trowel if they emphasize it. He followed my advice and laid on the flattery with a trowel. Compare with lay it on thick.
See also: lay, on, trowel

lay it on ˈthick/with a ˈtrowel

(also pile it on ˈthick, pile it ˈon) say that something is much better or much worse than it really is because you want to impress or annoy somebody: He said that she was his favourite author and that she deserved the Nobel Prize for literature. He really laid it on with a trowel.My father really piled it on, shouting at me for ages about my exam results.
See also: lay, on, thick, trowel