And by plump, she really means plump, based on the 7th photograph. Plump and well-oiled.
Reading between the lines, as I always do on Nina's posts — is there another way to read? — I'm sure I see that the people in France know how to live and we Americans do not.
Many people love to just stand in the water to cool off and that’s fun to watch too. Humankind, lusting for that refreshing moment when the waves gently tickle your legs or splash against your buttocks. Conversations in the water.Plunge, why don't you, Americans? Get in over your ass, like the French!
Plump, the verb, has an "Ultimately imitative" etymology (according to the OED):
Compare Middle Dutch plumpen (Dutch plompen), Middle Low German plumpen (German regional (Low German) plumpen), all in sense ‘to fall or plunge into water with a plumping sound’, Middle High German plumpen to make a plumping noise ( < Middle Low German; German plumpen), plumpfen, pflumpfen to fall with a thud (German plumpfen (now rare)), Old Swedish plompa to plump, to fall with impact (Swedish plumpa), Danish plumpe to flop, plump, to let fall.Let's plump and bump and stump and thump and dump. Up to our buttocks.
Compare other more or less imitative verbs with final -ump , e.g. bump v.1, dump v.1, stump v.1, thump v., etc.
Comparison has sometimes been made with Romance derivatives of classical Latin plumbāre to weight with lead (see plumb v.; compare plunge v.), but the similarity between the Romance and Germanic words seems no more than coincidental.
Plump, the adjective, originally meant "Rude, unrefined; intellectually dull, obtuse." (Full and rounded and fleshy and swollen — that's a later meaning.) It goes back to the Middle Dutch plomp, meaning "plump, squat, ponderous, rude, clumsy."
Buttock is a word formed from "butt" and "-ock," "ock" being a diminutive. The OED defines "buttock" as "One of the two protuberances of the rump (of men and beasts)." Ah! Another -ump word: rump.
Protuberance is "A thing which protrudes from something else; a rounded projection or swelling; a knob, a bump." Again we bump up against bump. Protuberance goes back to some Latin words having to do with swelling and pushing forth, which is interesting in connection with the American, reticent, barely bumped, unbare rumps Nina was writing about.
Me, I'm seeing the tuber in protuberance. A tuber is:
An underground structure consisting of a solid thickened portion or outgrowth of a stem or rhizome, of a more or less rounded form, and bearing ‘eyes’ or buds from which new plants may arise; a familiar example is the potato.Oh, Americans, you potatoes, with eyes that do not see! Solid, thickened, underground! Arise! Awake! Consider... the French.
At this point, everyone at Meadhouse jumps up and sings "La Marseillaise." It looks like this.
Come on, children. To the beach!