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I can only think of "algae" or preferably "green algae", these are in the context of science.

But is there any other general word in English used for this green slippery thing? In Hindi we say, Kaayi, so what is Kaayi in English?

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A generic word is slime: Slime algae on backyard ponds. This could occur on the surface or on the side of tanks.

slime noun

2. a. A viscous substance or fluid of animal or vegetable origin
(in this sense: 13th century)


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Depending on your audience, slime may have a connotation of a slime mold which is a completely different organism more closely related to fungi (like mold) than plants. Okay, only pedantic biologists would like point this out, but it's worth noting for how confusing English can be. – Patrick M Jan 10 '14 at 21:57

The closest English word I can think of is "scum" (but "pond scum" completely matches your definition);

scum n. a layer of dirt or froth on the surface of a liquid.

pond scum n. Any of various freshwater algae that form a usually greenish film on the surface of stagnant water.

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Pond scum is free floating while kaee is not. It is usually on the sides, like the walls of a tank. – Preetie Sekhon Jan 10 '14 at 14:32
@Preetie Scum does not need to be free-floating. Scum: 1.c. a slimy film on a solid or gelatinous object – Kit Z. Fox Jan 10 '14 at 14:44
@PreetieSekhon Informally, we might call that scum on the sides of the fish tank. My friends with aquariums call that a bloom. – Elliott Frisch Jan 10 '14 at 14:46
@ElliottFrisch Or more generally gunk. – called2voyage Jan 10 '14 at 18:16
scum from a Biology text. 4.6 Sludge, Supernatent, Scum, and Sand and here. – medica Jan 10 '14 at 21:35

Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we use the scientific term, Algae. People call it Lake Algae because Madison is situated on 4 lakes and that is where it forms and is often observed.

Lake Algae article

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