I was on my bike, and I saw the thief as I cycled past. It was quite dark, but I could tell he was old, at least 35, with blonde hair. He was wearing jeans and a hoodie.

I guess there is a mistake in the above context. Because blonde should be used for females.Am I right or not?

  • 4
    What did you find when you looked up both words in the dictionary?
    – ColleenV
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:07
  • 2
    In English blond and blonde are alternative spellings, you can use either with both, males and females. See Cambridge online dictioanry for example. When you say "blonde should be used for females" you are probably confusing with French where adjectives agree with gender, but it isn't the case in English where adjectives are invariable.
    – None
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:09
  • 7
    @Laure In the context blonde is being used to describe the hair, so either spelling is fine. I wouldn't write "He was a blonde" though. There is a male/female distinction in that sense, but it's not something that I think a lot of folks would quibble over.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:12
  • My English Persian dictionary make me to ask the question. I have just looked up the oxford dictionary. I found this
    – AR AM
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:16
  • I understood that I should not rely on my English Persian dictionary book.
    – AR AM
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


When talking specifically about hair color, "blonde" and "blond" are alternate spellings and can be used interchangeably. However, when referring to a person (with a particular hair color) you are correct and "blonde" is for females, while "blond" could be for either male or female.

(adjective) 1. (of a woman or girl) having fair hair and usually fair skin and light eyes.
(noun) 2. a woman or girl having this coloration.

(Example) Among famous actresses, Marilyn Monroe is probably the most well-known blonde.

See also brunette

  • 1
    Even when describing people, it's pretty common to use blonde for males. E.g. Battle of the K-pop Blondes: Male Edition or one of these quotes. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at something like "he's my favorite blonde."
    – 1006a
    Apr 25, 2017 at 20:54
  • 1
    I also wouldn't have batted an eyelash (or any other body part) -- however, now that I know, I would. But not with any particular vigor.
    – Andrew
    Apr 25, 2017 at 21:10

There is variation in usage. The word "blond/blonde" has been used in English since at least the middle ages, but was dropped from common use until it was re-introduced from French, relatively recently.

When words are borrowed from other languages, sometimes elements of that language's grammar are borrowed too. (for example, we use the Latin plural of words like "cacti", but the regular plural, "cactuses", is also possible)

The rule in French is for the adjective to agree in gender with the noun. Now English nouns don't have gender, but when describing a woman, the word is often spelt using the French feminine gender. And this seems to be the most common spelling. It seems that this spelling is becoming dominant. As evidence of this, my spell checker is asking me if "blond" is a typo for "blood"; it thinks "dblond" is a rare word, and may be an error.

Some would think it is a mistake to write "a blonde man", I prefer to think of it as an example of language change.

For your own writing, I'd still recommend using "blond" for men and "blonde" for women as nobody is likely to criticise this as being wrong (except my spell checker, which still wants me to write "blood")

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