lay it on v.
1. in senses of communication.
(a) to charge excessively.
|Westmorland Gaz. 27 Apr. 4/5: Coachee [...] you needn’t be afeard of laying it on pretty thick .|
|Reading Mercury 6 Apr. 4/5: I intend to lay it on my customers pretty thick, or in other words, to tip it to them pretty stiff in my charges.|
(b) to exaggerate; to make an excessive fuss.
|Jack Ashore III 273: It does my poor broken heart good to hear ye cuss that sodger – go it again, my daffydown-dilly, and lay it on thick.|
|Paved with Gold 122: ‘You are a-laying it on,’ he answered impertinently; ‘one would think I was everything bad to hear you talk.’.|
|Black Mask (1992) 230: You did lay it on.|
|None But the Lonely Heart 96: ‘I mean a stork, Tiger,’ Henry says, laying it on a bit.|
|Killing Time 177: I was laying it on just for the fun of it.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 188: They put the hammer to her. ‘Turn informant or get used to munching muff the next dozen years’ [...] They laid it on thick.|
(c) (orig. US) to criticize, to berate.
|Varmint 240: You laid it on pretty strong.|
|Nigger Heaven 120: Now Dick, you’re laying it on pretty hard.|
|A Man And His Wife (1944) 8: My father heard me answering my mother back, and oh gee if he didn’t lay it on.‘Boy’ in|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 163: Don’t lay it on me.|
|Drylongso 225: From then on she really laid it on Miss Donnelly.|
(d) (US black) to seek a verbal or physical confrontation, to hit.
|‘Rootin’ Ground Hog’ [lyrics] I’m a rootin’ ground hog babe, I roots everywhere I go / Lay it on me boy, it’s bad!|
|Getting Straight 144: You’re flipping, and I should have had the guts to lay it on you straight when it first started.|
|Frying-Pan 12: I picked up the cue [...] I was just going to lay it on him.|
(e) to inform, to pass on information.
|Beat Generation 137: I’m going to lay it on you.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 111: Call Amos’ ol’ lady and lay it on her.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 244: lay it on See break it down.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 159: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Lay it on me. Layin in the cut. Let’s get it on.|
|Life 267: ‘You Got the Silver’ [...] was one of the first ones I wrote entirely by myself and laid on Mick.|
|Finders Keepers (2016) 105: Go ahead. Lay it on me.|
2. (US) to act or work efficiently or energetically.
|From First To Last (1954) 17: They might be calico rippers in real life, but they sure laid it on there.‘The Defence of Strikerville’ in|
|Murder in the Mews (1954) 62: The woman lays it on with a palette-knife.|
|Rebellion of Leo McGuire (1953) 16: Come on, kids, lay it on.|
|Really the Blues 45: He really laid it on State Street.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 185: Man, he shuh would like to bag that bitch and really lay it oner.|
|You Flash Bastard 81: He realised his error in going easy on the man, he should have laid it on at his previous visit in court and got him the maximum.|
|London Fields 176: Lay it on, but don’t overdo it.|
3. (US black) to slap someone’s hand in greeting.
|Requiem for a Dream (1987) 19: Lay it on me jim – slap.|