README file definition convention
An introduction traditionally included in the top-level directory of a Unix source
distribution, containing a pointer to more detailed documentation, credits, miscellaneous revision history, notes, etc. The file may be named README, or READ.ME, or rarely ReadMe or readme.txt or some other variant.
In the Macintosh
and IBM PC
worlds, software is not usually distributed in source form, and the README is more likely to contain user-oriented material like last-minute documentation changes, error workarounds, and restrictions.
The README convention probably follows the famous scene in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" in which Alice confronts magic munchies labelled "Eat Me" and "Drink Me".