Q. I knew someone born in Av (otherwise called M’nachem Av) whose Hebrew name was M’nachem Nachum. Why the double name, since both names mean much the same?
A. A number of Hebrew names are like that, though often the second name is the Yiddish equivalent of the first name. Examples are Simchah Zelig, Baruch Bendit (i.e. Benedict), Uri Feivel (from Phoebus, the god of light), Dov Ber and Ze’ev Wolf. In some cases the first name is Aramaic and the second Yiddish, e.g. Shraga Feivel. M’nachem Mendel is a more difficult combination, as Mendel is not a translation of M’nachem. However, it probably means “little man” and if so derives from the first syllable of M’nachem.