From the copyright page of Retana's Vida y escritos del Rizal (1907)

Se acabó de imprimir el 30 de Junio de 1907. — Inscripto en la oficina de la Propiedad literaria de los Estados Unidos, donde fué presentado el 22 de Julio siguente, de conformidad con la Ley al efecto de 3 de Marzo de 1905, á solicitud de W. E. Retana.

Published June 30, nineteenth hundred and sive. — Privilege of copyright in the United States reserved under the Act approved March 3, 1905 by

(signature of Retana)

Note that the phrase "30 de Junio de 1907" is translated to "June 30, nineteenth hundred and sive". Is "sive" here an old-timey way of saying "seven", or is this just a simple mistranslation?

  • 4
    I've never heard of 'sive' as a word, also I've never seen a century referred to as "nineteenth hundred". Even if someone did that it would be incorrect as the dates starting 19_ (except for 1900 itself) are in the twentieth century not the nineteeth. I think that it's either a very poor translation or a joke.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 22 '21 at 6:59
  • 1
    In your position, I would look for a different edition and check whether the error still exists.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 22 '21 at 7:08
  • The error does not exist in a different copy (not necessarily different edition) of the book. I'll go post my answer immediately. Thanks for the suggestion!
    – janreggie
    Sep 22 '21 at 7:30

It's an error.

From Mari-Lou A's suggestion I went ahead and looked at a different "edition" of the book.

The typo exists in the University of California copy (IA: vidayescritosde00unamgoog) but not in the Harvard College copy (IA: vidayescritosde00retagoog). In addition, "nineteenth hundred" is now referred to as "nineteen hundred" here (from BoldBen's comment):

Image of the copyright page with the correct date

I can't deduce if they are different printings, copies, or editions, since from a quick glance the text is the same, but that already goes beyond the scope of the question.

  • 1
    This would appear to be your research for the question, not the answer to the question. The question is "I've found sive and I've found seven. Has sive ever meant seven?" as it could be that an obscure word was altered to a more common word in subsequent printings. If that were the case, it would not necessarily be an error.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 22 '21 at 12:53
  • "June 3ord"? Another error? I wonder if someone misread that "five" as as "sive" based on the way s used to be written similar to f in certain places in a word?
    – Showsni
    Sep 22 '21 at 13:53
  • @AndrewLeach you're not wrong, but for the sake of this question, this is a good enough answer. From the commenters of this question, sive appears to not be a word, that has ever existed, that means "seven", but it will be difficult to prove that it has never existed to mean "seven". The OED is a "fairly good" record of words that have ever existed.
    – janreggie
    Sep 22 '21 at 14:28
  • My point is that you cannot assume it's an error.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 22 '21 at 14:38

Sive is included in the OED (link may be paywalled) but in the context given its use is nonsense.

sive, n.

= chive n.1 1.

1707 J. Mortimer Whole Art Husbandry (1721) II. 171 Sives are a diminutive kind of Leek.

OED is a historical dictionary and sive has never meant seven.

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