Blond or Blonde: When to Use Blonde vs. Blond with Useful Examples

 Is the correct spelling blond or blonde? Sometimes it might be very difficult to figure out which one is correct because these two words sound exactly the same and only differ by a single letter in writing. However, it’s necessary to know when you need and when you don’t need that extra -e at the end, just so you avoid making silly mistakes. Read on to solve the blonde vs. blond dilemma.

Blond or Blonde: the Main Differences 

Blond or BlondePin

Blond or Blonde: Key Takeaways 

BLOND refers to male nouns, while BLONDE refers to female nouns.

Examples:

  • Thomas was the only blond in the family, beside the mother.
  • He was in his early forties, tall and blond with bright blue eyes.
  • She has blonde hair and big blue eyes.
  • The blue sundress set off her long blonde hair.

Definitions 

We often encounter the words blond and blonde, and though they are closely related, there is a subtle distinction we should understand. In essence, these terms refer to a similar hair color – a shade ranging from light yellow to a pale yellowish-brown. This color is typically associated with fair hair often found in Northern Europe. However, we use these terms with a slight variation based on gender due to their French origins.

  • Blond (without the ‘e’) is traditionally used:
    • As an adjective for males, e.g., “He has blond hair.”
    • As a noun to describe a male with fair hair, e.g., “He is a blond.”
  • Blonde (with the ‘e’) is utilized:
    • As an adjective for females, e.g., “She has blonde hair.”
    • As a noun for a female with fair hair, e.g., “She is a blonde.”

Usage Guideline Blonde vs. Blond

If you know French, this distinction might be very obvious to you. Indeed, these words come from French where, in many adjective, an -e is added at the end when it refers to a woman.

This rule is especially strictly followed in British English. For instance, you will say “Anna is a tall blonde with green eyes” but “Michael is a tall blond with green eyes“. Similarly, you will say “The blonde woman smiled politely” but “The blond man smiled politely“. Notice that in the first pair of sentences, blond and blonde are nouns, while in the second pair, they are adjectives.

In American English, this distinction only applies to nouns. So, you would say that Anna is a blonde or that Michael is a blond. However, if you need an adjective, you will always need to use blond, no matter which noun you are referring to. So, an American would say that both the blond woman and blond man smiled politely.

What about inanimate objects? When you want to say that an object has this light yellowish color, you should stick to blond. Therefore, you might have a blond table or a blond chair in your kitchen.

If you know French, remembering the difference between blond vs blonde won’t be difficult for you. And if you don’t know French, there still is a very simple trick that will help you. Blond refers to males, while blonde refers to females, and both blond and male are shorter words than blonde and female. Keeping this in mind, you will never confuse these two similar words or unwillingly offend anyone by misusing them.

Tips to Remember the Difference

When discussing hair color or the light hues associated with it, we often encounter the decision between using “blond” or “blonde.” Here’s how we can keep these spellings straight:

Masculine vs. Feminine: Use “blond” when referring to males and “blonde” when referring to females. This distinction stems from the original French where gender is grammatically significant.

    • Example for males: He has blond hair.
    • Example for females: She is known for her blonde locks.

Remembering the ‘E’: There’s a simple trick we can use. Think of the “e” at the end of “blonde” as representing “female,” both words ending with “e.”

Without ‘E’ (Masculine) With ‘E’ (Feminine)
Blond Blonde

When in Doubt, Go Universal: In certain contexts, especially in American English, “blond” can be used for persons of any gender. However, if we’re aiming for precision in our writing, we should apply the gender-specific usage.

Blond or Blonde Examples

Examples of “Blond” 

  1. He has short, blond hair and blue eyes.
  2. The child’s blond curls were adorable.
  3. They were looking for a tall, blond actor for the role.
  4. The puppy is blond with a few darker spots on its back.

Examples of “Blonde” 

  1. She is known for her long, blonde hair.
  2. The painting depicted a beautiful blonde woman by the sea.
  3. Marilyn Monroe was a famous blonde actress from the golden age of Hollywood.
  4. The little girl wanted a doll with blonde hair like hers.

Practical Exercises

In our quest to master the usage of “blond” and “blonde,” we’ve put together a set of exercises to enhance our understanding. Let’s dive in together!

Identify the Correct Usage:

  • For each sentence below, choose whether “blond” or “blonde” is appropriate:
    1. Our cousin has long, ___ hair.
    2. The ___ gentleman entered the room.
    3. She styled her ___ locks beautifully.

Answer:

  1. blond
  2. blond 
  3. blonde 

Fill in the Blanks:

  1. “Bl___” can be used for both males and females, but typically it’s masculine.
  2. “Bl___e” ends with an ‘e’ and is used to describe a female with light-colored hair.

Answer:

  1. blond
  2. blonde

Match the Gender:

  • Match the correct word to the gender it traditionally describes. Write “blond” or “blonde” in the blanks:
    1. Female: ____
    2. Male: ____

Answer:

  1. blonde
  2. blond

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between blond and blonde?

  • Blond is the term typically used to describe the hair color or characteristics of a male.
  • Blonde is used when referring to females with fair hair.

Can we use blond and blonde interchangeably?

No, traditionally, blond refers to men, and blonde refers to women. However, the distinction is becoming less strict in popular usage.

Is one spelling more correct than the other?

Both spellings are correct; their use depends on the gender of the person you are describing. Yet, adherence to this rule is fading, and blond as a gender-neutral term is becoming more common.

Do we always need to follow the masculine and feminine distinction?

While we recommend using the traditional distinction, especially in formal writing, it is increasingly acceptable to use blond as a universal adjective for any gender in casual contexts.

Gender Spelling
Male Blond
Female Blonde

Should we capitalize blond or blonde?

Lowercase is appropriate unless either is used as a proper noun or at the beginning of a sentence.

We hope our brief guide clears up any confusion around these similar terms

 

Last Updated on December 6, 2023

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