latch string

[latch string] {n.} 1. A string that opens an old-fashioned door bylifting a small bar.

The early settlers kept the latch stringoutside the door when they were working around the house, but at nightthey pulled it to the inside.

2. {informal} A warm welcome; afriendly greeting. - Used in such phrases as "the latch string isout."

Mary has her latch siring out for everyone who comes.