In the battle of blond or blonde, which is the correct spelling? It’s a question that has caused many arguments and even some bloodshed (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). The truth is that both spellings can be correct in the right context. In this article, we’ll teach you how to use blond and blonde in the grammatically correct way.
Is There A Difference Between Blond and Blonde?
For many people, blond and blonde are interchangeable words used to describe someone with light hair. This is very similar to what writers do with the words analyst & annalist. However, the subject’s gender can change the entire grammar and spelling of the sentence.
- Blond – Used to describe the hair color of a man
- Blonde – Used to describe the hair color of a woman
Gendered language  is a core principle in many different languages. Gendered language and nouns have been used in the English language for hundreds of years. One theory is that this gender distinction came from the French origins of the word blonde. Many common English words today have French origins.
Takeaway: Blond is used to describe men with light-colored hair, while blonde is used to describe women with light-colored hair.
Definition of Blond
The definition of the word “blond” is very simple: it refers to a person with light-colored hair and usually blue eyes. Cameron Diaz is a popular example!
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this word.
- Usually used to describe people with hair that is naturally light-colored
- Blond can be more than one part of speech. It can be used either as a noun or an adjective, depending on the context.
- For example, you could say “She’s a blonde” meaning that she is a person with blonde hair. Or you could say “That dress looks great on you – it really brings out your blondeness!” meaning that the dress makes you look more like a blonde.
- For some people, blond is not just a hair color, it’s a lifestyle. People who are blond are the life of the party, always up for a good time.
The gender distinction between the word blonde and blond comes from the French language.
- Une femme blonde (A blonde woman)
- Un homme blond (A blond man)
Takeaway: The word “blond” is most commonly used to refer to a person with light-colored hair.
Here are some examples of how to use blond and blonde in sentences.
- “She’s a beautiful blonde.”
- “He’s got a blond beer.”
- When referring to more than one person with blonde hair, you would use the word “blonds.” For example, “Look at all those blonds in line for the club.”
Just like we learned in our comparison of the phrase “would it be ok” context is often used to determine the correct word choice and spelling.
Do Nouns Have A Gender?
In the English language, nouns can be classified as:
To keep things simple…nouns that refer to males are masculine & nouns that refer to females are feminine. On the other hand, genderless nouns make no distinction between sex.
Ultimately, whether a noun is classified as masculine, feminine, or genderless depends on its meaning in the context of the sentence. Proper nouns like Chris or Chris’ follow this similar rule. There are also some genderless nouns in English that refer to people or animals of unspecified gender, such as “parent,” “child,” and “pet.”
Other Words That Follow This Rule
Blond is not the only word in the English language that changes according to gender. There are many other words that follow this specific pattern. It can be very hard to remember these spelling rules…so use our Spell Checker!
- Prince (male) vs Princess (female)
- Fiance (female) vs Fiancee (male)
- Actor (male) vs Actress (female)
- Brunet (male) vs Brunette (female)
Takeaway: Male and feminine forms of words can change the spelling. Just look at brunette vs brunet (dark hair).
Importance Of Gender In Writing
In today’s world, it is important to be careful with using gender in your writing. You should avoid using terminology that could be considered sexist in your writing. There are many gender-driven grammar rules like with Her & I or She & I.
This means using gender-neutral language when possible and not making assumptions about the gender of your reader. When it comes to pronouns, for example, use “they” instead of “he” or “she.” Not only is this more inclusive, but it also avoids the potential for awkwardness if you happen to be speaking to a non-binary individual.
Geography also plays a role in spelling. Ask yourself, how do you spell pedaling? In the UK it is spelled pedalling. In the US it is spelled pedaling.
Takeaway: Do your best to be conscious of the way you use gendered language and make an effort to avoid any language that could alienate or offend your reader.
What Is An Example Of Using Gender In Writing?
An example of using gender in writing can be seen when creating characters in a story or a novel. The writer may use gender to define and differentiate characters, influence their personalities, and contribute to the overall plot. Gender is deeply engrained in the English language. Here is a list of 3 additional grammar rules that depend on gender.
- Pronouns: English has gender-specific pronouns for the third person singular (he/him for males, she/her for females).
- Possessive Pronouns: Like pronouns, possessive pronouns can indicate gender when referring to someone’s possession.
- Job Titles and Descriptions: Some job titles or descriptions might use gender-specific language.
What About Non-Living Objects?
When it comes to inanimate objects, there’s really only one rule you need to know: they take the neuter gender. That means you should use “it” instead of “he” or “she,” and “its” instead of “his” or “hers.”
- If you’re referring to a book, you would say, “It’s a great read.”
- If you’re talking about a car, you would say, “It’s a comfortable ride.”
- If you’re referring to a house, you would say, “It’s a cozy home.”
Takeaway: An inanimate object takes the neuter gender (It/its/itself).
FAQs – Blond or Blonde
Blond has two spellings due to grammatical gender rules. Whether you chose blond vs blonde depends on the gender of the subject. Therefore if you hear someone say “blonde bombshell” you can bet they’re talking about a woman!
In Australia, if you’re a male with fair hair you are blond. If you are a woman with fair hair you are a blonde. However, in most cases “blond” is generally preferred. Pay close attention to the gender of the subject to choose between these two words.
It is most commonly spelled “blond”. If a man and a woman have the same hair color, you would say they have “blond hair”. However, “blonde” is used as the feminine form of the word. For example, “the blonde woman is standing right over there.”
According to Garner’s Modern American Usage  “blond” is the correct version to use. However, both “blond and blonde” can be used correctly depending on gender. The word blond is for males and blonde hair is for females.
There is a gender distinction between the way blond or blonde is spelled. “Blonde hair” is the feminine form. You would not say “blond women” or “blond woman”. On the other hand, blond hair is the masculine form of the word in the English language. For example, you would say “There is a blond man standing right over there.”
It is grammatically correct to say a guy has “blond hair”. The word blond is the masculine form of the word. AP Stylebook claims that blond is much more common in American English & blonde is more common in British English.
The Bottom Line
So, blond or blonde? The answer is both can be correct! As with most things in life, there isn’t a single right answer. Just remember to use the right word for the gender of your audience and you should be good to go. Use these grammar tips to improve your writing skills!