Why do we use San instead of Santo before names of saints?

Why do we use Santo with saints whose names begin with To- or Do-?


The "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas" says that the general rule is to use "San" before male names of saints, but "Santo" must be used with Domingo, Tomás, Tomé and Toribio.

  • 1
    They seem to have forgotten to include "San Tolomeo". In this case, the effect caused by a wrong coupling of syllables in oral speech is much worse!
    – Gustavson
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:53

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