trowel


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Related to trowel: spade, shovel

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 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
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

trowel

see under lay it 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

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

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
We even have 'his and hers' trowels." Jim's trowel is priceless.
| SMOOTHING OFF Once the surface is covered, smooth to an even thickness, holding the trowel at a slight angle so only one edge touches the plaster.
The Teddy and a Trowel event is set to become a fixture in the Alzheimer Scotland programme, alongside their usual events such as Easter egg hunts and Christmas parties.
Scoop it out using your plastering trowel and press into the damaged area, scraping the trowel from the middle of the hole to the outside edge.
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.
this trowel reappears, cast off, it seems--last summer's
He spreads a layer of thin-set in the band area and uses the notched trowel to screed the thin-set to the right thickness.
A MISSING trowel has been returned to a town after 70 years.
Fibre-Trowel 750 system can be quickly and easily applied as a three-coat system using a combination of brush, trowel and roller.
Allen Engineering Corporation has introduced the MSP450, which is a totally new manual steering, mechanical-drive riding trowel in the Allen riding trowel line-up.
At the right thickness, it should stick to the bottom of the trowel without falling.
The Brillante system is comprised of washable, microfiber pads that are securely, yet easily attached with velcro to either a hand-held trowel or handle-mounted pad holder.
Sean Deane, who shares the seven-yearold with first-fix carpenter Ger O'Brien under the Hammer & Trowel Syndicate banner, yesterday applauded his mare's performance in the World Series Hurdle last year, but said he was not "too bullish" about a repeat.
Tools 18v cordless grinder Stone blades Dust mask Safety specs Pointing trowel Bucket Materials Sand Cement STEP 1Wear safety specs and a dust mask, and use your small 4 inch grinder to grind out the existing defective cement to an equal depth of about 25mm.
Installed by a caulking gun, or by manually trowelling using a mason's trowel or putty knife, CLK Sealant is ideal for firestop penetrations and construction joints, such as around metallic pipes or conduits, and for floor-to-wall, floor-to-floor and head of wall applications.