Hors d’oeuvrer means “outside of work” in French.
In other words, it’s meant to mean a food that’s moonlighting outside the regular main course menu.
Appetizers are food items served before the main courses of a meal, and is often easy to eat finger food.
Hors d’oeuvres are usually served to sustain guests during the wait if there is an extended period between when guests arrive and when the main meal is served.
At many reception and cocktail party events, appetizers are served with no meal afterward.