You may not be able to ride one – but at least now you can say it and be grammatically correct. Continuing the love being felt around the world for the Back to the Future trilogy of films in advance of the official “Back to the Future Day” – October 21, 2015, the date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to in their time-machine DeLorean from 1985, in case you didn’t know – the Oxford English Dictionary recently declared that “hoverboard” is an honest-to-goodness word. Now if only they could get my phone to stop auto-correcting it to “Governor…”
Above is a screen-grab of the entry as it stands in the online dictionary – feel free to click it for a bigger version, or click here to check it out in greater detail on the Oxford English Dictionary site. Here’s some background information from the OED folks on why they included the word in their dictionary:
While some of the technology on show in [Back to the Future Part II’s] futuristic version of Hill Valley’s Courthouse Square is now relatively familiar in our own 2015 (tablet computers, worn technology, and biometric locks), other promised advances (flying cars, domestic fusion generators, and holographic 3D movie advertisements) still seem a long way from everyday reality. The real-life status of perhaps the most iconic and coveted of the film’s gadgets is less clear-cut, however, and the spike on our frequency graphs also reflects the increasing number of reports of hoverboards in the real world over the last few months. But what is a real hoverboard? The prototypes unveiled by Lexus and ArxPax recently clearly satisfy the most important criteria for Back to the Future fans: they hover. Both rely on the repelling power of intense magnetic fields—generated by superconducting magnets cooled by liquid nitrogen—acting on a special magnetized track. So neither holds out the possibility that we’ll all be zooming around towns and cities on them anytime soon.
A bit depressing for true fans, but try and take comfort in the fact that even though the floating versions aren’t available, die-hards can soon get their hands on the next best thing. Officially licensed by Universal Studios, WereGoingBack.com is selling limited-edition skateboard editions of not only the “kiddy” pink Hoverboard that Marty, uh, borrows during the film, but also three of Griff’s gang’s hoverboards as well. Better hop in your DeLorean and hurry, though: they are only on sale through October 25th, then they go away forever. They are currently $200 apiece, or you can get the set of four for $880, although I’m not sure why you’d want to pay more to do so than buying them individually instead – perhaps they’d all be the same serial/batch number? The website is vague on this detail, but that doesn’t change the fact that the boards are damn cool.