Tapas is the plural word for tapa, which means lid or cover. In its origins, tapas where placed over your drink (usually wine or beer). The reason why this was done is not clear. Some people say the tapa was just a lid to avoid flys getting into your drink. Some others said this was done because of a royal decree saying that everyone should have a bite with their drink to avoid drinking with an empty stomach. The king who issued this decree was Alfonso X, called The Wise.