Are there alternatives to UNION to select the same columns from multiple tables?


I've got 4-5 tables that have near identical names and I need to select columns which have the same names from them. So far I'm doing this:

    SELECT colA, colB FROM Table1
    SELECT colA, colB FROM Table2

It seems like it could be overly verbose if you had more than a handful of similar tables and was wondering if there's any alternative syntax. Ideally I'd like something wildcard-y, like

SELECT colA, colB FROM Table%

If there is no alternative to UNION, why not? Is there a specific reason for not allowing this? I would imagine it's because SQL should be as specific as possible when it comes to the table definitions (table + col names, types, etc) while allowing flexibility in data manipulation (hence we have wildcards for the rows).

There's no alternative I could think of. If I were nitpicky, I'd say that if you have similar tables that contain similar data, you should reconsider your database design :-)