"The one in Little Egypt, they call that one Kayro"

Little Egypt is the nickname for Southern Illinois. Some say the name arose in the 1830s when poor harvests in the north of the state drove people to Southern Illinois to buy grain. Others says it stems from a resemblance to the Nile delta.


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In 1818, a large tract of land was purchased by developers and named Cairo, pronounced kayro. Some people believe this to be the origin of the Little Egypt nickname.