The present study focuses on language variation. Although different schools have approached the subject in a variety of ways, little work has been done on what varying “means”, i.e., to what extent being part of a variety contributes to the genesis of meaning (semiosis). The focus of the present paper is to discuss semiosis according to variational linguistics. By following the diasystematic changes of a few Old French lexical elements, this analysis sheds light on the role of diasystematic information in generating meaning. Combining the results with recent multi-level semiosis models, we come to understand that semantic elements may pass from one semiosis level to another. Our proposal contributes to a better understanding of the relation between a variety and its variants.