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 thick

To exaggerate, overembellish, 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 thick for her. Bob, I think Mary understands the trouble she's in, no need to lay it on so thick.
See also: lay, on, thick

lay it on thick

 and lay it on with a trowel; pour it on thick; spread it on thick
Fig. to exaggerate or over-state praise, excuses, or blame. Sally was laying it on thick when she said that Tom was the best singer she had ever heard. After Bob finished making his excuses, Sally said that he was pouring it on thick. Bob always spreads it on thick.
See also: lay, on, thick

lay it on thick

Also, lay it on with a trowel. Exaggerate, overstate; also, flatter effusively. For example, Jane laid it on thick when she said this was the greatest book she'd ever read, or Tom thought he'd get the senator to waive the speaker's fee if he just laid it on with a trowel . This idiom alludes to applying a thick coat of paint or plaster. [c. 1600]
See also: lay, on, thick

trowel

see under lay it on thick.

lay it on thick

INFORMAL
If you lay it on thick, you try to make something seem more important than it really is when you talk or write about it. Gerhardt explained the position to the Press Officer, laying it on thick about Adrian Winter's importance. Ask someone to tell him how good you are at your job. Get them to lay it on thick. Compare with lay it on with a trowel.
See also: lay, on, thick

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

lay it on thick

Informal
To exaggerate or overstate something.
See also: lay, on, thick
References in periodicals archive ?
Gulf Incon has entered into an exclusive partnership with Beton Trowel of Belgium to cater to the needs of the concrete flooring contractors in Qatar.
Once a long section of tape is pulled out, he pushes it into the corner with a corner trowel.
Two shapes of brick trowels have become almost standard: the Philadelphia pattern with a square heel and the London pattern, which has a rounded heel so the mortar is carried a little farther forward on the blade.
Pre-drill four holes through each brush, and trowel to prevent splitting.
You can smooth and round corners and transform boring flat sheetrock by adding a bit of sensuous undulation or trowel or hand marks.
The trowels are most often used on major industrial floors or multistory building projects that have large finishing areas, explained Juan Quiros, product manager for Multiquip.
If you are planting smaller bulbs that need shallower planting, you can get special bulb planting trowels which are narrower and marked with a scale to tell you how deep you are digging.
He noticed the scrape-clang of trowels when one of his mates was laying bricks.
Trowels come in a variety of shapes and sizes for each of the processes involved in completing a plaster job.
Mark Bramley, gardening buyer at Asda, said sales of spades, rakes, hoes, trowels, secateurs and forks had soared by an average 20 per cent.
It is said to be easy to mix, trowels on smoothly, and cures to a tough, medium-hard rubber (Shore A87), according to the company.
General-purpose trowels typically have 3- to 4-inch-wide blades.
Liz Kimmel, manager of Sperling Nursery in Calabasas, says trowels - the tool used for planting small bedding flowers - are sold in myriad colors and designs, but too often the novelty styles bend and break because the metal is too thin and the handle is attached with a pin inserted through the center of the plastic or wood handle.
But screeds and trowels pave the way to make Allen a well-known name in the industry.
Moveable trowels surrounding the nozzle mold it into the desired shape, as the nozzle moves over the work.