Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blond vs. Blonde

So last night on twitter, one of the editors at my publisher tweeted about blond and blonde and how editors talk about that sort of thing. This, of course, sent me into a moment of saying "crap" and rushing off to my manuscript. You see, my manuscript is sitting in edits right now, and, knowing my luck, it was probably me who started this "blond" discussion. Well, at least I THOUGHT it might be me, so I went to check it out. I mean, in some of my earlier drafts, I had someone "lunching" with their sword, so it could be me, right?

Did I get it wrong?

Did I have a blond...er, I mean blonde...or, um...

Ok, let's call it a brunette moment, considering I do have brown hair.

So I looked up "blond vs. blonde" and found out some interesting stuff. I also discovered that I DID have a wrong blond in my manuscript. Go figure. No matter how many times I learn about grammar, there is always something else to learn, eh?

I wanted to share what I found out with you. :o)

The word "blond" comes from the French, where it has a feminine and a masculine form of the word. So, when you are using the word as a noun, it has two separate forms. When talking about a girl, you use BLONDE. A man would be BLOND.


The blonde walked by in her high heels.
The blond on the men's track team can run really fast.

Now, if you use it as an adjective, use the form BLOND. As an adjective, it never has an "e".

The blond woman has on a red dress.
The man with blond hair has a big nose.


I have also found reference that you can use blonde for a female adjective. There is some difference of opinion on that rule. If you would go with the French , where blond was derived from, the word "hair" is a masculine word. And so, in theory, you can safely use blond (without e) for describing hair. However, I don't think you'd get a lot of grief if you had used a girl's blonde hair either.

Now...your turn. :)

1. An attractive ________ wore a sequined dress.
2. The ________woman is quite short.
2. The playground was filled with _________ children.
3. That man peeing in the grass is a ________.


  1. What I learned: The more you write the word blond, the less it looks like an actual word.

    And, yes, I've mixed these up before. So thanks for the clarification. :)

  2. I thought it was acceptable to retain the two forms even as an adjective?

    1. What I've been finding, is that you CAN do that; however, using blond as an adjective for both is fine. Something do do with the word "hair" being a masculine word. There is some argument among people on that topic though, different opinions.

  3. Hmm, interesting. I knew the mas v fem but not about the adjective form always being blond. Cool!

    Brunette is the fem version of brunet, so actually... LOL

    1. yep, same here. I knew the feminine vs masculine bit but not the adjective bit. Which....isn't it almost always used as an adj? So wouldn't it almost always be blond?

      Example: She walked past the hottie and flipped her blond hair.

      In that instance, I'd want to use blonde, but that would be wrong...right? Oy...lol

    2. I think you can safely use it with a girl. But you would be safe to use blond as well.

  4. OMG, I did a find in my ms. I only used blond as an adjective, whew. Now run a seach through the rest of my manuscripts.

  5. LOL! "That man peeing in the grass," had me in giggles. I may have been working on this middle grade novel a bit too long.

    As for blonde, I am blonde and have always felt, like Anne of Green Gables, that it's prettier with an e. I may brave the wrath of editors and keep spelling it my favorite way. I'm a writer; I'm neurotic like that.

    Great post! Thanks for the fun word rule weirdness.

    1. I concur. Without the "e" it just looks... naked. :)
      I've wrestled with this word, too. Fun and practical post!

  6. I will never have a blond/blonde character again. Red is nice.

  7. Like Katrina, I like it better with an e regardless of how it is used. But my editor 'fixed' it for me and felt like a negligent author for having used the wrong version.

    1. Interesting! So what way did your editor want you to use? The blond for all adjectives?

  8. Good to know, thanks. I've never been sure what the proper word is.

  9. 3. That man peeing in the grass is a _natural blond_. sorry, couldn't resist. :)

  10. Thank you so much for this! I'm tweeting it so others can learn from this, too. :D

  11. I had no idea-now I have to look in my MS! And great practice at the end. I'm marking this post in my writer helps section. I'm not a blonde, but I had a blond moment. LOL-I think I did that right:)


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