Usual English spelling of the name of the first Christian martyr (Acts 6–7), whose feast is accordingly celebrated next after Christ's own (26 December). His name is derived from the Greek word stephanos ‘garland, crown’.
Origin uncertain; probably Dutch or North German. It could be a habitational name from a village in the Rhineland called Epgert. Early American spellings include Apgard, Ebcher, Aepjer, and Apker. See also Absher.