1. To create a counterfeit or illegitimate version of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "phony" and "up." It turns out the company had been phonying up its accounts for years to conceal the flow of dirty money it had been laundering. He said the police had phonied the evidence up in order to frame him. For $30,000, they'll phony up a birth certificate, passport, and driver's license for you.
2. To exaggerate something in a disingenuous, misleading, or manipulative manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "phony" and "up." These shows really like to phony it up with their so-called "dramatic reenactments." I just think all these people are phonying up their outrage over something that is really just a non-issue.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.