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Blond (male), blonde (female), or fair hair, is a hair color characterized by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin.The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of yellowish color.The color can be from the very pale blond (caused by a patchy, scarce distribution of pigment) to reddish "strawberry" blond or golden-brownish ("sandy") blond colors (the latter with more eumelanin).
Each of the two forms, however, is pronounced identically.
American Heritage's Book of English Usage propounds that, insofar as "a blonde" can be used to describe a woman but not a man who is merely said to possess blond(e) hair, the term is an example of a "sexist stereotype [whereby] women are primarily defined by their physical characteristics." The OED also records that blond as an adjective is especially used with reference to women, in which case it is likely to be spelt "blonde", citing three Victorian usages of the term.
The masculine version is used to describe a plural, in "blonds of the European race", Another hair color word of French origin, brunet(te) (from the same Germanic root that gave "brown"), also functions in the same way in orthodox English.
It gradually eclipsed the native term "fair", of same meaning, from Old English fæġer, causing "fair" later to become a general term for "light complexioned".
This earlier use of "fair" survives in the proper name Fairfax, from Old English fæġer-feahs meaning "blond hair".
The French (and thus also the derived English) word "blond" has two possible origins.Some linguists say it comes from Medieval Latin blundus, meaning "yellow", from Old Frankish blund which would relate it to Old English blonden-feax meaning "grey-haired", from blondan/blandan meaning "to mix" (Cf. Also, Old English beblonden meant "dyed" as ancient Germanic warriors were noted for dyeing their hair.However, linguists who favor a Latin origin for the word say that Medieval Latin blundus was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin flavus, also meaning yellow.Most authorities, especially French, attest the Frankish origin.The word was reintroduced into English in the 17th century from French, and was for some time considered French; in French, "blonde" is a feminine adjective; it describes a woman with blonde hair."Blond", with its continued gender-varied usage, is one of few adjectives in written English to retain separate masculine and feminine grammatical genders.