Blond or Blonde?

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Blond Hair or Blonde Hair?

Choosing "blond" or "blonde" has nothing to do with UK or US writing conventions. The gender of the person or people with the fair hair determines whether you use "blond" or "blonde."
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The rules for using "blond" and "blonde" can get complicated. But, here is the key point:
  • Only use "blonde," "blondes," or "blonde hair" if you know you're talking about a female or females.

More about "Blond" and "Blonde"

If you're using "blond" as an adjective , you cannot go wrong because the adjective "blond" is used for everything. However, if you know the person is female, you can use "blonde" as an adjective to showcase your writing skills.

The same is not true if you're using "blond" as a noun. If the person is female, you must use "blonde" (or "blondes" for the plural). If you're unsure of the gender (e.g., "the teacher," "all the teachers") or it's a mixed group ("all the team members"), then use "blond" or "blonds."

blond hair or blonde hair

Examples with "Blond"

  • "Blond" is a noun meaning a fair-haired male or males. For example:
    • He is a blond.
    • They are blonds.
  • "Blond hair" is a term used to describe the fair hair of a man, woman, someone of unknown gender, an object, or a group. For example:
    • He has blond hair.
    • She has blond hair.
    • The teacher has blond hair.
    • The doll has blond hair.
    • The team members all have blond hair.
  • "Blond" is an adjective used to describe anybody with fair hair.
    • He is a blond dancer.
    • She is a blond dancer.
    • I was talking about the blond teacher.
    • It is a blond doll.
    • I was talking about the blond team members.

Examples with "Blonde"

  • "Blonde" is a noun meaning a fair-haired female or females.
    • She is a blonde.
    • They are blondes.
  • "Blonde hair" is a term that can be used to describe the fair hair of a woman or a group of women. For example:
    • She has blonde hair.
    • They have blonde hair.
    • (You could also use "blond" in these two examples.)
  • "Blond" is an adjective used to describe a woman or women with fair hair.
    • She is a blonde dancer.
    • I was talking about the blonde team members.
    • (You could also use "blond" in these two examples.)

More about "Blond" and "Blonde"

Writers are often unsure whether to use "blond" or "blonde." The confusion is understanding because it depends whether you're using "blond/blonde" as an adjective or a noun. Here is a reminder of the key point: "Only use 'blonde' if you know you're talking about a female or females."

Blond or Blonde (As a Noun)

As a noun, "blonde" refers to a female. For everything else use "blond."

For example:

Males
  • My brother is a blond.
  • My brother is a blonde.
  • My brothers are blonds.
  • My brothers are blondes.
Females
  • The waitress is a blond.
  • The waitress is a blonde.
  • The waitresses are blonds.
  • The waitresses are blondes.
Neither Male nor Female or Unknown
  • The teacher is a blond.
  • The teacher is a blonde.
  • The teachers are blondes.
  • The teachers are blonds.

Blond or Blonde (As an Adjective)

As an adjective, "blond" is always correct. It can be used to describe males (e.g., man, king), females (e.g., duchess, actress), neuter objects (e.g., mannequin, toy), and plurals (e.g. men, kings, mannequins, duchesses, children).

However, to showcase your grammar skills, you can use "blonde" as an adjective to describe singular or plural females (e.g., girl, girls, sister, sisters).

For example:

Males
  • The blond waiter
  • The blonde waiter
  • The blond brothers
  • The blonde brothers
Females
  • The blonde waitress
  • The blond waitress
  • The blonde sisters
  • The blond sisters
Neither Male nor Female or Unknown
  • The blonde teacher
  • The blond teacher
  • The blonde teachers
  • The blond teachers

Brunet / Brunette

The same rules apply for "brunet" and "brunette." However, as the term "brunet" is rarely used to describe males (people always use "brown"), only "brunette" is seen.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are nouns? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words