Name and geography
Historically, Budjak was the southeastern steppe region of Moldavia. Bordered by the northern Trajan's Wall at its north end, by the Danube river and Black Sea to its south, by
Tigheci Hills (just east of the Prut River) to the west, and Dniester river to the east, it was known as historic Bessarabia until 1812, when this name was given to the larger region situated between the two rivers, including Budjak. As used in Middle Ages, the term might (if referred to the geographical area) or might not (if referred to the area predominated by Nogai Tatars) include the environs of Akkerman, Bender, and Kilia. After the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia in 1940, its southern part that was included in the Ukrainian SSR (unlike most of Bessarabia, included in the Moldavian SSR), became known as Budjak, thus being slightly smaller than the historical term.
The name Budjak itself was given to the area during Ottoman rule (1484–1812) and derives from the Turkish word bucak, meaning "borderland" or "corner", referring roughly to the land between what was then Akkerman (now Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyi), Bender and Ismail.
After 1812, the term Bessarabia came to apply to all of Moldavia east of the Prut River. Consequently, Budjak is sometimes referred to as "Southern Bessarabia".
Besides Southern Bessarabia, other descriptive terms that have been applied to the region include Bulgarian Bessarabia (Ukrainian: Болгарська Бессарабія, translit. Bolhars'ka Bessarabiia), Akkermanshchyna (Ukrainian: Аккерманщина), and Western Odessa Oblast (Ukrainian: Західнa Одещина, translit. Zakhidna Odeshchyna).
The area has been termed variously in the English language, including Budjak, Budzhak, Bujak, Buchak, and even Budziac Tartary. In the Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Russian languages, the area is referred to as Budzhak (Cyrillic: Буджак, pronounced [ˈbudʒak]), in Polish it is Budziak, in Romanian it is Bugeac, in Albanian Buxhak, while in Turkish it is Bucak.