In ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, the term metic (Greek métoikos: from metá, indicating change, and oîkos "dwelling") referred to a resident alien, one who did not have citizen rights in his or her Greek city-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

) of residence.

If it had been borrowed early, Greek métoikos would become Latin metoecus and English metecous or the like. But because it was borrowed when Greek oi was pronounced as y (see Koine Greek phonology), it was transliterated into Latin as metycus.