Make Your Editor Cry: Blonde vs. blond

Make Your Editor Cry:  Blonde vs. blond

As an English noun, these originally French words kept those two gender specific forms; thus, a blond is a fair-haired man, and a blonde is a fair-haired woman.

In short, the word blonde can be used to describe a woman or girl with fair hair and the word blond can describe a man who fits that description. Either of these can also be used as an adjective depending on your flavor of English. In the US, the masculine blond is preferred while in the UK the feminine blonde is the preferred word “in all senses” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Should you choose not to honor the word’s French roots by using the gender specific forms and rather to revert to the traditional English forms, then in the US the male gendered form blond is the more common spelling and can be used for either men or women just as the male gendered pronouns represent both sexes without bias.

Incorrect in the US:

The blond left her hair down, brushing it until the long
curls shined. His hair, though also blonde, looked duller and
less shiny.

Technically Correct:

Both husband and wife were blonds though her hair was shiny and his was dull.

More Correct:

The blonde left her hair down, brushing it until the long
curls shined. His hair, though also blond, looked duller and
less shiny.

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