latch string

latch string  {n.}
1. A string that opens an old-fashioned door by lifting a small bar.
The early settlers kept the latch string outside the door when they were working around the house, but at night they pulled it to the inside.
2.  {informal}
A warm welcome; a friendly greeting. — Used in such phrases as "the latch string is out."
Mary has her latch siring out for everyone who comes.
Syn.: WELCOME MAT (2).
Categories: {informal} {n.}