What word or phrase does your mother always say?
1550s, from Latin isthmus, from Greek isthmos "narrow passage, narrow neck of land," especially that of Corinth, of unknown origin, perhaps from eimi "to go" + suffix -thmo (cf. ithma "a step, movement").
isthmus isth·mus (ĭs'məs)
n. pl. isth·mus·es or isth·mi (-mī')
A constriction or narrow passage connecting two larger parts of an organ or other anatomical structure.
A narrow strip of land that connects two larger bodies of land and has water on both sides.