What word or phrase does your mother always say?
epiglottis ep·i·glot·tis (ěp'ĭ-glŏt'ĭs)
n. pl. ep·i·glot·tis·es or ep·i·glot·ti·des (-glŏt'ĭ-dēz')
The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea during the act of swallowing.