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
References in periodicals archive ?
Brenda Blethyn lays it on with a trowel - no, make that two trowels - as her mouthy mother while Michael Caine as a sleazy agent merits only a couple of laughs - one for a floral dressing gown and one just for being Michael Caine.
To make it seem that Air Force One--an airplane, remember, a flying bus--has enough conceptual integrity and heft to earn itself a book (instead of, say, a longish article in American Heritage), Walsh lays it on with a trowel.