Some fungi cause disease in humans and plants, while others have demonstrable potential for the control of insect pests. In addition, fungi are also a rich reservoir of therapeutic metabolites and industrially useful enzymes. Detailed analysis of fungal biochemistry is now enabled by multiple technologies including protein mass spectrometry, genome and transcriptome sequencing and advances in bioinformatics. Yet, the assignment of function to fungal proteins, encoded either by in silico annotated, or unannotated genes, remains problematic. The purpose of this review is to describe the strategies used by many researchers to reveal protein function in fungi, and more importantly, to consolidate the nomenclature of 'unknown function protein' as opposed to 'hypothetical protein' - once any protein has been identified by protein mass spectrometry. A combination of approaches including comparative proteomics, pathogen-induced protein expression and immunoproteomics are outlined, which, when used in combination with a variety of other techniques (e.g. functional genomics, microarray analysis, immunochemical and infection model systems), appear to yield comprehensive and definitive information on protein function in fungi. The relative advantages of proteomic, as opposed to transcriptomic-only, analyses are also described. In the future, combined high-throughput, quantitative proteomics, allied to transcriptomic sequencing, are set to reveal much about protein function in fungi.