Usage Notes #1 – blond vs. blonde


I think I’m going to start making random posts about usage notes when I figure them out.

I don’t know if this happens to anybody else, but I sometimes get into a habit of thinking I know more than I do. And then one day, I realize that I don’t really know much of anything.

I like to think I have a pretty good handle on usage of words, but then along comes a specific word that throws me for a loop.

Blond and Blonde

Which is is? What’s the difference? When do you use one and not the other?

After a little bit of digging and some research, I have figured it out. And, yes, there is a difference.

The word blond without an e is a modifier that describes a color. Blond hair. Blond brownies. Blond man. Blond woman.

The word blonde is a noun used to refer to a woman with blond hair. Never a man.

I believe it’s a French thing. I read that somewhere.

So you can say, “There’s a blond man!” or “There’s a blond woman!” and that is correct.

Or you can say, “There’s a blonde!” or “She’s blonde” or “a blonde moment” and that is correct.

But you shouldn’t identify a man by the term blonde since it is a feminine noun.

Fascinating, huh?


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