Resonant 2p x-ray absorption spectra of size-selected transition metal ions and clusters consisting of 1<or=n<or=200 atoms are reported. Remnants of atomic multiplet splitting in L(2,3)-edge x-ray absorption can be resolved up to the trimer, above which the overall line shape is already bulklike. A strong cluster size dependence of the L(2,3) branching ratio was found for titanium, vanadium, and cobalt clusters. While 3d electron delocalization increases with cluster size, the apparent 2p spin-orbit splitting remains constant within the error bars. The size dependence of the L(2,3) branching ratio can be attributed to cluster size specific screening of the 2p-3d Coulomb interaction by 3d/4s valence electrons.