Blond or blonde: which one should you use? The short answer: they’re both correct.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Blond or Blonde
Both forms of blond can act as both nouns and adjectives. A “blond” (or “blonde”) is a person with hair that is yellow-ish in color. “Blond” and “blonde” can also be used as adjectives to describe this color, and can refer to hair, wood, beer, fabric, or other items.
Blond and Blonde as Nouns
There are plenty of examples of both blond and blonde being used as nouns.
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”
“It’s great to be a blonde. With low expectations, it’s very easy to surprise people.
“And for those sisters in denial: Back away from the word ‘blond.’ Your hair is not ‘dark blond’ or ‘dirty blond.’ It is light brown. Sorry, it is.”
—Samantha Bonar, Los Angeles Times
“It’s official — Daniel Craig is first blond Bond.”
Fair-haired people are sometimes caricatured humorously (and unfairly) as “dumb blonds”—beautiful, but scatterbrained and lacking in intelligence. The movie/musical Legally Blonde played on this stereotype.
Q: Why does a blond dog have lumps on his head?
A: He’s been chasing parked cars.
Blond and Blonde as Adjectives
Just as commonly, blond and blonde are used as adjectives.
“My first job as assistant director was to make sure he didn’t cast the talented blond dancer who had so easily stolen my boyfriend the summer before.”
—Tina Fey, Bossypants
“From floors to paneling, fireplaces to cabinetry, blonde wood is a gorgeous touch in any space.”
—”Things We Love: Blonde Wood in Any Space,” www.mydesignchic.com
“Blonde lace was originally made from undyed and unbleached silk.”
—”What Is Blonde Lace?”, TheDreamstress.com
Why Are There Two Correct Spellings?
Blond and blonde are derived from the French words for a person with light-colored hair. In French, blond is a masculine adjective for a man or boy, and blonde (feminine) is for a woman or girl. Both terms evolved from the Latin blondus, or “yellow.”
So, if you’d like to be true to the French roots, you can use “blonde” for women and “blond” for men.
However, the most important thing to remember is to be consistent within your own work. Whether you choose to use only one spelling or apply the masculine/feminine rule, be sure you’re being consistent throughout your entire book—don’t flip-flop back and forth. While it’s not incorrect, it can come across as careless.
Learn more about grammar:
- Affect vs. Effect: Word Usage Explained
- Know the Difference: Who or Whom?
- American vs. British Spelling: Orthography and Alternate Spellings of Common Words
- i.e. vs. e.g. Grammar Rules Explained
- Its or It’s: Grammar Explained by an Expert
- Bear with Me or Bare with Me? Proper Grammar Explained by an Editor
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.