trowel


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Related to trowel: spade, shovel

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 ?
Spurgeon, "A Fragment on the Down Grade Controversy," Sword and Trowel 23 (1887): 560.
A new technique developed by Allen Engineering is the use of pans, or disks, on non-overlapping riding trowels.
Digital Trowel is a next generation semantic web company that is disrupting the traditional models of text mining and data compilation.
The crossb ited the trow family heirlo father used i tion stone on Lord Beec trowel was g Lord Brow under He crossbench former Law whose gran originally Sheffield, the stone an whom it w presented.
This trowel, used in bedding the levelling stone, was presented to Councillor A Robert Grindlay CBE, JP, (Chairman of the City Redevelopment Committee) by Ernest H.
The week, however, belonged to Mullins, with 12 winners matching his haul a year ago and giving three teams other than Hammer & Trowel their day in the sun.
I bought three pieces, including an ivory trowel engraved with the Solihull coat of arms.
Last June, they argued when Mr Thomas discovered McPherson working with a trowel two inches from the fence.
8 Smooth the mastic with a small trowel until a neat, triangular fillet is achieved around the window frame.
If your render is smooth, allow the splattering to harden slightly then flatten it off with the trowel or putty knife.
The silver trowel was given by the late Colonel John Williams-Wynne, former chairman of the RWAS Council.
A trowel-wielding volunteer on an archaeological dig was left seeing double when she uncovered ( a Roman trowel.
95, the 'Easi-Grip' Garden Trowel is one of three superb garden tools under [pounds sterling]10 from Peta UK, designed to take the pain out of onerous gardening chores that involve digging or physically working the ground.
Liberty Towers, the spectacular new waterfront rental community along Jersey City's Hudson River Gold Coast, received industry recognition at the recent 2003 New Jersey Golden Trowel Awards.
An ordinary garden trowel is ideal for larger bulbs.