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, overembelish, 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

  (informal) also lay it on with a trowel (informal)
to make an emotion or experience seem more important or serious than it really is He'd injured his hand slightly but he was laying it on a bit thick about how painful it was. They must have told us ten times how wonderful their daughter was - they were really laying it on with a trowel.
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
To exaggerate or overstate something.
See also: lay, on, thick
References in periodicals archive ?
Pre-drill four holes through each brush, and trowel to prevent splitting.
If you don't want to try mixing your own, look into the ready-mixed earthen plasters that you could trowel on yourself or hire an experienced person to apply.
One last tip: it is very tiring to try to make holes with a trowel in hard soil so give it a good dig first with a garden fork.
Cheek also promises an imaginative cocktail of exciting music, ingenious tool percussion, slapstick comedy and crazy dances like the Trowel Dance.
The first show in Titchmarsh's series, How To Be a Gardener, shown on Wednesday night, featured tips on the tools needed - a spade and fork, rake, trowel, hoe and secateurs.
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.
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.
1: supply of equipment (rollers, brushes, building cars, spatulas, trowels, ladders, axes, scythes, shovels, villas, etc.
Trowels in hand, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and children from the Verdugo Hills YMCA got on their hands and knees to plant marigolds.
Plant and bulbs in alpine gardens, rockeries, hanging baskets, tubs and other containers can easily suffer root damage if ordinary trowels and handforks are used.
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.
If you think all trowels are pretty much alike, try out one of the four English specialty trowels sold by the Kinsman Company ($12.