lay it on thick, to

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

lay it on thick

Informal
To exaggerate or overstate something.
See also: lay, on, thick
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

lay it on thick, to

To exaggerate, especially in flattery. This term began life in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1.2) as lay it on with a trowel, which survived well into the mid-twentieth century. The trowel referred to is the tool for applying mortar or plaster, not the garden digging tool. Thick was inserted into the original term and with a trowel was eventually dropped.
See also: lay, on
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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