Brand Name Vocab: Consolidated Edison


Most of us in New York get our electricity from a company called ConEd, which is short for Consolidated Edison. However, companies with “consolidated” in their names are not hard to find: consolidated means “joined into a whole” and usually indicates that the company was once two or more smaller companies. Sure enough, Wikipedia tells us that, “In 1884, six gas companies combined into the Consolidated Gas Company” which eventually became ConEd.

A similar word for bringing things together is amalgamated. You may know an amalgam as a dental filling (so called because it is made with more than one metal), but the word occurs in the name of many labor unions: for instance, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, which was involved in the famous Homestead Strike in 1892. Also interesting: iron and steel can themselves be amalgamated (using the meaning of amalgamate “to mix with mercury”).

Do you have some stuff you want to join together?

You could also fuse, meld, aggregate, or agglomerate it!

If you want to stick a small thing onto a big thing, you could annex it!

If you want to stick some things together end-to-end, you could concatenate them! As in, If you want to make your own chain mail, you’ll have to concatenate each link onto the one before it.

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