When my son was 3and a half years old, he came home from daycare telling that a boy had gotten in trouble for saying a bad word.
I said, “What did he say?” And my child looked at me me like I was stupid.
“I can’t say it. It is a bad word.”
“Well, you aren’t saying it as a bad word. You are just telling me.”
He cut his eyes at me like he wasn’t sure I wasn’t setting him up for trouble and lowered his voice. Mind you, there was no one else in our house.
“He said the s-word.”
At this point, he was totally exasperated with me.
“No, Mom. He said,” and his voice dropped to a whisper, “‘shut up.'”
He didn’t understand why that cracked me up. But, I did agree with him that “shut up” is a very rude thing to say.